Solid food for the baby: never before 6 months
The most important pediatric associations in the world advise to introduce solid foods in the baby's diet after 6 months. Before this date, breast milk or bottle are sufficient to ensure the growth and proper development of the baby.
However, many parents decide to introduce solid foods first because they think the baby wants them, because they think they are hungry or because they think they get the baby to sleep through the night.
The baby's digestive system is not ready before 6 months
When babies are born, their stomachs are sterile. They do not have the necessary bacteria in their stomachs to digest food or generate the gases that help push feces through the intestine. As the baby consumes breast milk or bottle, the stomach begins to slowly count on the bacteria necessary for digestion. This process creates gas in the gut of babies that sometimes generates discomfort and in some cases colic, known as infant colic.
Supplementary feeding is a very important step for babies, but we should not rush. Pediatricians advise introducing solid foods into the diet of babies after six months. Before this age, breast milk or bottle with formula milk are sufficient to ensure the growth and proper development of the baby. The digestive system of newborn babies is not ready to eat solids.
Sleeping at a stretch is not related to feeding
At 6 months, babies have the skills necessary to eat solid foods. They can sit and hold their head up, control the movements of their mouth and tongue to move food from the front of the mouth to the back and thus be able to swallow. In addition, now they understand perfectly that their hands are part of their body and that they can use them to catch food and take it to their mouths.
There is no serious scientific study that has proven that providing solid food to babies less than 6 months old helps them sleep through the night. Getting sleep all night in one go is something the baby learns.
When we practice relaxation techniques with the baby, we help him sleep longer. Stuffing your food gut does not help you sleep anymore. The only good thing is that, contrary to what was previously believed, introducing solid foods before 6 months is not directly related to childhood obesity.
The appropriate thing is to feed the baby only with breast milk or bottle until 6 months. At that time, the baby's stomach will be ready to digest and expel more complex foods and the baby will be prepared, from the point of view of their development and motor skills, to feed safely.
Banishing false myths
There is a legend that believes that solid foods help babies under six months to sleep better. But the truth is that there is no serious scientific study that has proven this.
Through proper nutrition, and starting from very young, parents can ensure that our children grow and develop in a healthy way. Knowing the nutritional needs of the baby, not confusing attitudes related to their development with signs that the baby is hungry and making sure that the baby has sufficient motor skills before introducing solid foods will make the experience much more rewarding for both parents as for the baby.
Deanna Marie Mason, expert in education and family health. Blog author Dr. Deanna Marie Mason. Proactive fatherhood Professional support for the modern family. He has just released his second book: How to educate teenagers with values.